Jason Vargas has a torn elbow ligament, so Royals recall Yordano Ventura one day after demotion

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Yesterday the Royals demoted Opening Day starter Yordano Ventura to Triple-A and replaced him in the rotation with Jason Vargas, who was activated from the disabled list.

Vargas then exited last night’s start with an elbow injury, which the Royals now say is a torn ulnar collateral ligament (also known as the Tommy John surgery injury). So they’ve recalled Ventura from Triple-A, where he presumably hadn’t actually had a chance to arrive yet.

Last offseason Vargas signed a four-year, $32 million deal with the Royals as a free agent and he’s pitched about as well as could have been expected with a 3.76 ERA in 39 starts, but Tommy John surgery could knock him out of action until 2017.

It seems all but guaranteed that the Royals will be acquiring some level of rotation help between now and the July 31 trade deadline, with some speculation that they could be looking to make a big, top-of-the-rotation splash.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.